Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and
night? Will He delay to help them? - Luke 18:7
Some time ago I visited The Merchants House in George Square. In this grand old
building, which was the centre of commerce in Glasgow for many years, there is an
intricate hand-painted sign from the original Merchants guild outlining the ‘Scripture
Rules to be observed in buying and selling’.
This defines the rules and regulations to be observed in fair trading and for proper
observation of the sabbath on Sundays. A fine, biblical basis for doing business it
seems. Or so I thought, until more recently when I discovered that the huge wealth this merchants house created for Glasgow was built largely on the backs of slaves working in tobacco plantations in America and the West Indies. This facade of spirituality was covering up an ugly injustice.
I am reminded of the words of the Prophet Amos, speaking against the corrupt
“I hate all your show and pretence —
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
an endless river of righteous living.”
- Amos 5: 21-24 NLT
In this parable, Jesus tells about the need to pray and not give up. What is it that he
says we should be praying for?
So often I find that my prayers become small, I focus on the ‘daily bread’ of my own
needs and desires and forget to pray the big, society-changing, earth-reshaping
prayers for justice to come, and to come quickly.
You don’t have to look far to see injustice today. Whether it’s racial injustice,
modern-day slavery, human trafficking or our treatment of the most vulnerable in
society, it is all around.
Join us today in crying out to God for a “mighty flood of justice” and for this “endless
river of righteous living” to start with us.